SAUGUS (CBS) – Investigators have determined what started the Saugus fire that killed 80-year-old Rose Naples and her brother Lou on Saturday morning. Authorities said Thursday the cause of the blaze was electrical and the home had no smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
An investigation found that the fire started on the porch, “where numerous electrical cords and extension cords were seen in the debris,” the fire chief, fire marshal and district attorney said in a statement. Criminal act and other potential causes of the fire were excluded.
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“Electrical fires are the second leading cause of fire deaths in Massachusetts,” State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said in a statement. “It’s extremely important not to overload outlets with multiple devices, or to use multiple outlets or extension cords to power devices like air conditioners or heaters. If you see sparks, hear a sizzle or buzz, or if you smell the faint odor of something burning, call your local fire department immediately.
It only took a few minutes for the house Naples built 30 years ago on Richard Street to sink into the sea. Neighbors said they heard a loud bang and then saw an intense fire coming from the house which left the facade completely charred.
The siblings were well known in the neighborhood.
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“They are wonderful people and they would do anything for you,” said neighbor Annette Imbrescia, who rushed to help the paramedics.
Firefighters say smoke detectors save lives and can double the chances of survival in a fire. Forty percent of fire deaths in the United States occur in the 4% of homes that do not have smoke detectors.
Between 2016 and 2020, the Massachusetts Fire Department responded to 2,719 home fires caused by electrical problems, killing 28 and injuring hundreds of civilians and firefighters.
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